The Parenting Mistakes That Made Will Smith an Infinitely Better Father
Aside from being one of Hollywood’s most influential stars, Will Smith, 53, is the doting dad of 2 boys and a girl. However, the actor’s journey in life didn’t have a smooth start. He had a harsh upbringing and his dad, who passed away in 2016, was the reason young Will wanted to start a family really young. He was determined to learn from his dad’s mistakes and give his own kids the father figure that he himself never had.
Bright Side is inspired by Will Smith’s story through fatherhood. He proves that there are no pre-written rules in parenthood, instead it’s a step-by-step journey where we’re allowed to make mistakes and learn from them along the way.
Growing up with a difficult and strict dad.
’’He was my hero.’’ This is how the Hollywood actor started to describe his father. However, Will continued to explain that his dad had a difficult personality and wasn’t kind to their mom. But it seems that the actor was determined to see the bright side of things, as he was able to transform his complicated childhood into a source of strength and a life lesson. He revealed, ’’Some of the greatest things about me are because he was my father...the way I can endure, the way that I think.’’
Dreaming to be a dad and make up for his own upbringing.
Instead of avoiding having kids on his own because of his challenging childhood, Will revealed, "I wanted to be a father my whole life. From the time I was 5 years old.’’ As a matter of fact, his life goal was to reconstruct the broken family picture he had by making things right with his own future children. For him, building a family was a chance to do it right, a way to ’’correct the mistakes’’ his dad made.
Building his own tight-knit family
Fatherhood first came to Will at the age of 24, when he had his son, Trey, with his now ex-wife. And despite his childhood dream, the star was confused and nervous just like any other first-time parent is. He said that his first reaction to seeing his newborn was, ’’I can’t do it, I’m not the guy." Later on, he became a father to Jaden, 23, and Willow, 21, with his second wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
Despite their busy schedules and the pressures of fame, Jada and Will always made sure to be close to their kids, emotionally as well as physically. The actress opened up about opting for homeschooling the kids instead of sending them to regular classes, saying that “My kids, being with me, is of a higher value than sitting in a classroom.”
Learning from mistakes and not pushing the kids too hard.
It’s evident that the children were strongly influenced by their parents and have decided to follow in their footsteps by becoming performers as well. And Will, who, of course, wanted his kids to reach the highest levels of success, has admitted to ’’pushing and forcing the things’’ at times. After all, the strict work ethic that he inherited from his own dad naturally influenced his own parenting style, and his kids were also brought up with a perfectionist mindset.
However, his parenting method quickly shifted when he realized that his demanding attitude and dream for his daughter Willow, to make a hit single, “was starting to hurt her.” He also vowed not to "push or pound’’ on his son Jaden during the filming of the movie After Earth that they starred in together.
Parenting is an art and there ’’are no rules.’’
From growing up with the strictest rules and then setting the same high expectations for his own kids, Will is living proof that our parents influence us whether we like it or not. However, his story also shows us that we can always question what we’re doing, take a step back, and then correct our parenting style.
Today, after years of experience in the journey of fatherhood, Will has come to the conclusion that there are no rules when it comes to bringing up a child. He shared that “it’s more art than a science” and today he says he is at a place as a father where he ’’loves what he’s painting.’’
Do you agree that we shouldn’t pressure our kids and instead allow them to experience life at their own pace? Share your parenting journey with us.